Long List of Readings on Dialect Poetry in the 19thC

You’ll find below a broad collection of readings  on dialect poetry in 19thC Britain and the United States, intended as background reading for our Dec. 4 meeting.  Please click here for a shorter list of the texts we’ll discuss in the morning session, beginning at 10:30 am.  *Texts singled out for attention in the morning session will be marked below with an *

British dialect poetry:

*Sheaf of poems recommended by Taryn Hakala:  “Jone o’ Grinfilt” (John of Greenfield); “The Oldham Weaver” (aka “Jone o’ Grinfilt Jr.”); Ben Brierley’s “Jone o’ Grinfilt’s Ghost;” Edwin Waugh’s “Come Whoam to thi Childer an’ Me;” Ben Brierley’s “Go Tak thi Ragg’d Childer an’ Flit”;

*“The Defence of the Dialect,” a selection from Brian Maidment, The Poorhouse Fugitives;

Janet Hamilton, selections from Essays and Sketches (1880)

*William Barnes, selections from Select Poems of William Barnes (1908):  Hardy’s “Preface,” “Zun-Zet,” “Lwonesomeness,” “The Vaices That Be Gone,” and “Praise O’ Dorset.”

William Barnes, Select Poems of William Barnes, ed. by Thomas Hardy (1908)

American dialect poetry:

James Russell Lowell, selections from The Biglow Papers (1848) (including the London introduction, mentioned below)

*James Whitcomb Riley, selections from The Old Swimmin’ Hole and ‘Leven More Poems (1883):  “The Old Swimmin’ Hole,” “Wotermelon Time,” “When the Frost is on the Punkin,” “My Fiddle;” “The Rubaiyat of Doc Sifers” (1902?) (a larger type/ more pages to print version of this poem can be found here)

James Whitcomb Riley, “Dialect in Literature” (1896);  “The Old Swimmin’ Hole and ‘Leven More Poems” from Neighborly Poems and Dialect Sketches (1883) (1-40);  Michael Cohen’s selections from Riley;

*Paul Laurence Dunbar, selections from Lyrics of Lowly Life (1896):  William Dean Howells, “Introduction;” Paul Laurence Dunbar, “Ere Sleep Comes Down to Soothe Their Weary Eyes,”  “Accountability,” “Antebellum Sermon,” “Spellin’ Bee,” “Negro Love Song,” “When Da Cone Pone’s Hot,” “We Wear the Mask,” “Lonesome,” “When Malindy Sings;” *additional Dunbar poems: “Emancipation,” “Lager Beer,” “James Whitcomb Riley”

Paul Laurence Dunbar, Poems of Cabin and Field (1896-99); Michael Cohen’s packet of selections from Dunbar;

19thC writing about dialect:

“Scottish Dialect” Chambers Edinburgh Magazine (1835)

*William Barnes, Outline of English Speech-Craft (1878)

James Russell Lowell, introduction to the British edition of The Biglow Papers (included in Lowell selection, above)

William Dean Howells, Introduction to Lyrics of Lowly Life (1896)

“On the Abuse of Dialect” MacMillan’s Magazine (1897)

Contemporary criticism of interest:

J Javier Rodriguez, “The US-Mexican War in James Russell Lowell’s Biglow Papers”

Henry Louis Gates, from Figures in Black

Daniel Tiffany, from Infidel Poetics

Tavia Nyong’o, from The Amalgamation Waltz

Lloyd Pratt, from Archives of American Time


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